Men who undergo a nerve-sparing prostatectomy (prostate removal) by robot-assisted laparascopy may be more likely to regain their erectile function than men who undergo the ‘open’ surgery, say German researchers at the University Hospital Leipzig.
Laparascopic prostate removal is performed through small, keyhole-sized incisions. Traditional ‘open’ prostate removal requires a long incision down the abdomen.
Researchers at the German hospital studied 422 men, 67 years and younger, who had normal erectile function (EF) before their prostatectomy. All the men had localized prostate cancer i.e. the cancer had not spread beyond the prostate gland.
Following surgery, patients in the study received either tadalafil (commonly marketed as Cialis for ED) or a placebo (sugar pill) after surgery for nine months. This period was followed by a six-week drug-free ‘washout.’
Men who had a robot-assisted laparoscopy were 2.4 times more likely to have erectile function recovery at the conclusion of the drug-free washout when compared to the open-surgery group.